Ontario Engineering Competition University of Waterloo 2005
University of Waterloo 2005

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The goal of the Explanatory Communications Category is to encourage undergraduate engineering students to present a complicated technical process or issue in terms that a person outside of their discipline can understand. Often, engineers must explain highly specialized subjects to people with different educational backgrounds such as management, other professionals, or the general public. Winning entries will combine thorough research, a complete and clear explanation, and a dynamic presentation.

Entrance Requirements

One (1) team per school consisting of up to two (2) people may be accepted into the Explanatory Communications category.

Each team is required to submit a one (1) page abstract that summarizes their topic. The abstract will be reviewed by the OEC Organizing Committee to assess the suitability of the topic for inclusion in Explanatory Communications and will be given to the judges for information prior to the start of judging.

Category Format

Teams in Explanatory Communications are required to deliver an oral presentation at the competition.

Competitors will be given:

  • Access to a data projector (with computer or laptop connection available) and overhead projector
  • Max. five (5) minutes to setup prior to their presentation
  • Max. twenty (20) minutes to present
  • A ten (10) minute question period will follow the presentation during which the judges and the general public will be allowed to ask questions, with priority given to the judges' questions.*

*Note: Time constraints may be subject to change.


The most important aspects of evaluation in this category are depth of understanding of the topic, delivery of a complete and clear explanation, effective communication, and the quality of the presentation. The depth of the team's understanding of the topic will be assessed during the question period. The marking scheme for the Explanatory Communications category is as follows:

Explanation of Concept - 25%

  • Did the team give the audience a clear explanation of the topic?
  • Did the team give the audience a complete explanation of the topic?
  • Did the team cover sufficient material beyond the general knowledge of persons not specializing in their field?
  • Were any complex technical terms or concepts left undefined?

Research, Depth and Accuracy - 20%

  • Were the facts presented correct and complete?
  • Were all areas of the topic sufficiently covered?
  • Did all members of the team display a strong understanding of the topic?

Technical Complexity - 15%

  • Was the topic of sufficient technical complexity?
  • Was the team appropriately challenged by the subject matter?

Presentation - 20%

  • Was emphasis given to appropriate areas?
  • Was there a clear introduction and conclusion?
  • Did the seminar flow naturally from point to point?
  • Was time used appropriately?
  • Did both team members participate equally in the presentation?

Use of Audio-Visual Aids - 10%

  • Were the audio-visual aids used appropriately?
  • Did they help illustrate key points?
  • Were the slides or overheads clear and easy to read?
  • Were any special or unique audio-visual aids used?

Interest Generated - 10%

  • Did the seminar create and maintain audience interest?

Competitors will be assessed a penalty for not presenting within the allotted time frame.



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